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The suffix “-s”, when used with singular nouns, conveys possession.
We are having a party at Rachel’s house.
Jessica drove his friend’s car.
When we want to express possession about plural nouns ending with an “s”, we only use the apostrophe:
This is my parents’ house.
Those are ladies’ glasses.
For plural nouns not ending with an “s”, we use apostrophe+s:
These are men’s glasses.
Children’s toys are very expensive.
We should mention here that in some cases the “apostrophe+s” signifies for whom or what an object is designed. For example:
Women’s shoes (not “shoes of women”)
Children’s literature (not the “literature of children”)
My / Your / His / Her / Its / Our / Their
We use these adjectives when signifying to whom an object belongs to:
That is our car.
My house is very old.
Possessive adjectives can also be used for family relations as well:
My father is a doctor.
How old is your older brother?
They can also be used in referring to body parts:
She’s broken her leg.
He is washing his hair.
I need to clean my hands.
Mine / Yours /His / Hers / Its / Ours / Theirs
Possessive pronouns are used to replace possessive constructions:
Is that Oliver’s pencil? No, it’s my pencil / No, it’s mine.”
Whose car is this? Is it your car? / Is it yours?
His car is grey, my car is red. / His car is grey, mine is red.
Possessive pronouns can also be placed after “of”:
Alice is one of my friends.
Alice is a friend of mine. (correct)
“Alice is a friend of me” (wrong)
I am one of Alice’s friends.
I am a friend of Alice’s. (correct)
“I am a friend of Alice” (wrong)
We can convey possession indirectly by using the preposition “of”.
“the child’s toy car” or “the toy car of the child”
“our puppies’ mother” or “the mother of our puppies
“the software’s failure” or “the failure of the software
In the English language, when we want to ask to whom an object belongs to, we use “Whose?”
“Whose pencil is this?” or “Whose is this pencil?”
“Whose car is this?” or “Whose is this car?”
“Whose computer is that?” or “Whose is that computer?”
“Whose glasses are those?” or “Whose are those glasses?”
POSSESSIVES: RECIPROCAL PRONOUNS
In the English language, when speaking about a situation where two or more people are undertaking the same action, we use “each other” and “one another”.
When we want to convey possession in such situations, we use “each other’s” and “one another’s”.
In standard English “each other” is used for two people, whereas “one another” is used for more than two people. Nevertheless, in the colloquial language today, this separation is being slowly disappearing, and the two forms are being used interchangeably.